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steering wheel not straight :/ any advise on where to go?

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by marshall-12, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. marshall-12
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    marshall-12 Member

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    hi guys,
    as said my steering wheel doesn't face straight, say the centre is facing up at 12 o'clock, when going straight the wheel is about 1 o'clock.

    now, i been kwik fit for 4 wheel alignment, they done it i drove down the street, no difference.
    went back and they had another go then told me to come back in the morning (today) as there equipment isn't fully charged.

    they tried again and its still not straight, they said my tracking was out by quite a bit which i could tell when i changed my wheels by my old tyres, and that the tracking is now perfect but my steering isn't straight.
    they told me it could be due to camber or caster but they don't have the equipment to check :/

    im planning my first track day at trax at end of august so this has really annoyed me:/

    any help? ive never done anything to do with tracking, balancing etc etc...

    Also, quick question which has nothing to do with this. how do i get my mirror caps off safely? they could use a good spray. thanks
    #1
  2. karl210
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    karl210 Member

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    Theyre not taking the steering wheel into consideration when theyre tracking it. They need to put the steering wheel bang on 12 o clock. roll the car forwards and backwards a little bit, then track from there. If its still out after that the car has been in an accident and is "crabbing" if you still want the steering wheel straight after this take it off and put it back on straight. I would take it back though and tell them to do it properly, and stay away from kwik fit in future
    #2
  3. marshall-12
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    marshall-12 Member

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    in theory i went 3 times. i did have a look through the window and looked as if the wheels where straight.
    anything else i can look for to see if its been in a crash? :/
    #3
  4. brasiliangringo
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    brasiliangringo Member

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    Get a 2nd opinion - take it to another garage and ask them to give it an alignment. Perhaps someone on here can recommend an outfit in your area ?

    I will say that after having a prang in an A3 myself, the thing pulls very slightly to the left and i did get the tracking done but still does it ever so slightly but I have been driving on and off for a few years since and is not really noticeable to the point of being a problem or causing serious uneven tyre wear. I think it is very very hard to tell if the car is ever so slightly out unless you put it on a jig perhaps but im not sure if that would pick up something been slightly bent where the subframe connects or indeed the suspension top mounts etc..
    #4
  5. marshall-12
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    marshall-12 Member

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    yeah i was thinking maybe going to anouther garage, annoying that ive wasted money at kwik fit :/

    mine pulls to the left, but the steering wheel is faceing about 1 oclock when going dead straight, and is highly annoying. plus im looking at doing track :/
    #5
  6. brasiliangringo
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    brasiliangringo Member

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    Same as the one i drive, pulls to the left. Not as bad as 1 oclock though.

    Look at your tyre wear - is it strange and uneven ? That could always point towards something more sinister.
    #6
  7. kwistof
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    kwistof South East Events Moderator

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    I have this problem...so your not the only one mate!
    I had my wheels aligned as well as the camber checked out a couple of months ago at a very reputable garage locally to me after having my coilovers fitted. The garage did advise the left and right side of the camber were not matching and were out by a degree or two which was down to some of the bushes on the arms being newer than others. I remember the other year I had to replace some on the right side - so expect the left side is a little worn out..... I tend to get the most pull to the left when on booting it on full boost and when driving gently it is not that bad at all. I also do not have signifcant tyre wear.

    I have now got a full poly bush kit that should hopefully sort it out for me....

    Where are you located OP?
    #7
  8. marshall-12
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    marshall-12 Member

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    by sounds of it mines quite bad then.
    been chatting toa mate, he thinks that they have only done one side maybe or like karl said there not taking it into consideration.
    ive been there before about wheel balancing and they messed that up to so think ive drawn a line and never going to the kiwk fit near me again, im off back up later this afternoon im going to pop into ats and tell them whats happened etc. maybe they can sort it properly.
    ive wasted 30 quid, but ive been back 3 times so its obvious tey dont have a clue what there doing :/
    im in dawlish, devon.
    #8
  9. Ste_Nova
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    Ste_Nova Active Member

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    kwik fit?? ats???? they are tyre shops :wtf:

    you need someone who knows what they are doing
    Centre Locator
    #9
  10. kwistof
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    kwistof South East Events Moderator

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    It's not the place you take it to it's the people who work in there and use the machines.....getting more and more difficult finding decent garages who know what there actually doing and are passionate about cars who don't charge silly prices.

    I use kwik fit for tyres only - I would never get them to allign them afterwards as I would take that somewhere else that can give me a proper read out....but they do offer some decent guarantees on branded tyres and will match other places prices + I know a couple of lads in there so know my alloys will be in good hands by another petrol head.

    I would phone up some reputabable garages around your area who offer 4 wheel laser alignment...I don't think I've ever paid under £60 for a proper allignment with camber and toe print outs that will show you which area is shagged....I'm pretty sure most places such as kwik fit only match the front wheels to the back in the allignment they offer - especially if you only paid £30

    I mean check this price out!

    Hunter Wheel Alignment for Audi S3 210 quattro 1.8T
    #10
  11. Ste_Nova
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    Ste_Nova Active Member

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    £120 lmao, my local hunter center charged me £60 to do my s2000 which had been rebushed and everything was well out and it took ages to get it right with a couple of test drives and rechecks needed

    Welcome to Buckley Tyre Service
    #11
  12. S3_chris 11
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    S3_chris 11 Member

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    i have the same problem as u guys, i took mine in to a garage and they told me i needed a new steering wheel sensor then it would need re calibrating and then laser alignment, but im not really interested in taking my steering wheel off just incase i do something wrong and my airbag deploys, smashing my face through my skull lol
    #12
  13. marshall-12
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    marshall-12 Member

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    wow really, ive never paid over 30 for tracking and never had any problems untill now.
    but then its the first time ive took it to this kwik fit before.
    #13
  14. kwistof
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    kwistof South East Events Moderator

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    Yeah £120 is very steep for it!
    Probably one of the most expensive places tbh and personally I haven't got it done there- won't be getting anything done at AMD if I can help it.....

    Whatever you do though OP give us an update on what happens and what needs to be replaced if anything.... :)
    #14
  15. Ste_Nova
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    Ste_Nova Active Member

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    has the wheel ever been off? if not then its just adjustments needed
    #15
  16. djarchive
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    djarchive Member

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    Exactly same problem in my 2002 BAM.

    To drive in a straight line the steering wheel will be at all most 1oclock (maybe not that much).


    To say its annoying is untrue. No unsual tyre wear however it is wierd & when I explain it to people "why I dont drive straight" its frustrating.


    I went to National. There absolute w@nkers. Hadn't a clue and blamed my suspension. Also charge £45. Kicked off with a complaint into head office and got 50% back. Still, Not the point though.
    #16
  17. marshall-12
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    marshall-12 Member

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    yeah will do im gonna hed back up to newton at about 3 ish and get a second opion somewhere, annoying ordered coilovers now gotta fork out for this lol
    they have been off a few times, though why would that make a difference?
    #17
  18. slowcoach3
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    slowcoach3 Active Member

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    Take it down to pro-tyre in marsh barton, they are really good down there and if they can't get it 100% then they won't charge you....
    #18
  19. kwistof
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    kwistof South East Events Moderator

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    OP- do you have a FWD or quattro?

    djarchive - I very rarely drive in a straight line even when my steering was perfect! The roads are in such a state there are so many fecking pot holes to miss!
    #19
    S3_chris 11 likes this.
  20. S3_chris 11
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    S3_chris 11 Member

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    i took my old car to kwik fit for tracking and alignment it didnt feel right after doing it, so i took it to a mate at ats who had a look and my car hadnt even been touched and you could clearly see it underneath. i had him do it and i went back to kwik fit complaining with video and photo evidence and they gave me 4 good year eagle f1's free for my troubles, u wouldnt think a nationwide supposidly good company would f**k u over like this. - Rant over -
    #20
  21. kwistof
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    kwistof South East Events Moderator

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    Sweet bjesuz.....4 brand new good year eagle F1s for free! After complaining about a £30 wheel allignment....WOW....
    I need to take some tips from you on how to complain better mate! lol.... granted they didn't do the job and you could prove it - but even if they offered you 1 free wheel alignment a month for a year it would be cheaper than 4 of those bad boys :)
    #21
  22. marshall-12
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    marshall-12 Member

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    i cant take it to pro tyre my sis runs accounts there, and back along they put my old golf gt tdi though its mot, needed a few things but nothing major and apparently there annoyed because i sold it so wont do work for me anymore... pathetic i know but what can i do :s

    yeah i'll go to ATS and see what they can do, hopefully they can sort it.
    #22
  23. S3_chris 11
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    S3_chris 11 Member

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    this was going back a few years when i had a fix or repair daily lol ive never been back there to this day for tyres, the last thing i got from there was some bulbs from when i was doing a front end rebuild, there still in my car now and at night time i can say they are absolutely shocking, not sure if its just my car or all a3's with the facelift lights :wacko:
    #23
  24. slowcoach3
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    slowcoach3 Active Member

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    Thats a shame, can't think of many other trustworthy people around here....I have heard good things said about mid devon tyres but never used them myself....
    #24
  25. marshall-12
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    marshall-12 Member

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    yeah its impossible now a days. its who you know, not where you know.. :/
    #25
  26. pj123
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    pj123 Member

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    Check over the suspension system, make sure you dont have any broken springs (common to lose a coil on the rears and this not get picked up - remove wheel to check) and check tyre pressures are all correct.

    I had my car tracking done loads of times using a 4 wheel tracking system before realising the rear springs had gone.

    I have also recently replaced my front top mounts and that has slightly put my tracking out again.

    Bought a set of 2 wheel tracking gauges and adjust it myself now.
    #26
  27. marshall-12
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    marshall-12 Member

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    ive had the wheels off and on a few times and springs looked fine etc..
    proberly a good idea for me to do that after this tbh
    #27
  28. S3_chris 11
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    S3_chris 11 Member

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    have you ever seen the damage of loosing a coil? i did, luckily there was nothing behind just dented the road............
    #28
  29. sportquattro
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    sportquattro Active Member

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    Thats bonkers, cant understand their mentality as to why they would turn work away, especially if your sister works for them. They did my 4 wheel alignment a while back and seemend very professional, unlike their Plymouth counterparts who I will never ever go near again. Hope you get it sorted
    #29
  30. marshall-12
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    marshall-12 Member

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    I have no idea, really annoying as I got cheap tyres there :/

    I went ats, tracking is fine but my front left tyre is rotating the wrong way and has less tred then my front right, so I'm gonna swap it with my rear right and see if that will make a difference. Also apparently one of my driveshafts is thicker then the other? That supposed to be like that?

    He tried selling me tyres rather then swapping the wheels over lol no thanks.
    #30
  31. Grale1
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    Grale1 Member

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    My car pulls to the left ever since I've owned mine, I had the tracking done last summer and made no difference, but recently I went to another garage who have the hunter tracking and it showed up that my camber etc was all ok but my front left wass toeing out to the curb, but I need two new tyres on there as the inside edges are worn out and they told me that you can't track a car properly unless you have good tread on the tyres?..
    #31
  32. marshall-12
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    marshall-12 Member

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    yeah my front left is pretty bad. so im going to swap them over and see if that makes a difference.
    #32
  33. marshall-12
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    marshall-12 Member

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    ok wheels swapped over, all rotating right way. still no change.
    However the passenger side looks as if it needs tracking out (track rod end pushing more outwards) as it doesnt look straight :s but then 2 places have check tracking :s
    also noticed that 1 of my driveshafts is huge compared to the other, on full lock right when going very slow i get a grinding sound which i know now is my driveshaft grinding on my anti roll bar. pics:
    Drivers side: (you can just see the grind marks on driveshaft)

    [​IMG]

    Passenger side: (tiny compared to drivers :/)

    [​IMG]


    Any ideas?..
    #33
  34. <tuffty/>
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    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

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    Thicker (longer) shaft is hollow, the other (shorter) shaft is solid... its by design and is to do with torsional affect.... the rubbing is because you are (most likely) on coil overs and very low... you need adjustable arb drop links....

    <tuffty/>
    #34
  35. marshall-12
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    marshall-12 Member

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    ok good thanks for that tuffty i thought someone may have fitted the wrong one in the past.

    Im actually not, yet. coilovers are on the way but atm its standard, what do adjustable arb drop links do? and where can i get them?

    any idea on tracking?
    cheers
    #35
  36. Ste_Nova
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    Ste_Nova Active Member

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    if its rubbing like that and its standard height then something is shagged !
    #36
  37. marshall-12
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    marshall-12 Member

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    Like what Nova?..
    #37
  38. Ste_Nova
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    Ste_Nova Active Member

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    would need to know what the drive shaft is hitting to guess...
    #38
  39. marshall-12
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    marshall-12 Member

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    its scrapping that bend in the anti roll bar. only on full lock right and going very slow.

    im taking my car to a mate not next week but week after to do a full check over, also going to help me get the coilys on and ive just ordered adjustable arb links
    #39
  40. <tuffty/>
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    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

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    I would suggest you have a broken front spring if your car isn't lowered yet for that to have happened which may be part of the reason its pulling to one side... I would check that first... its fairly common for them to snap at the top...

    <tuffty/>
    #40

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